Lawmaker Tries to End Monopoly-Solar Stronghold

State Democratic Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez filed a bill that would, if enacted, legalize power-purchase agreements across Florida. Florida remains one of the last four states where it is illegal for property owners to sell home-generated solar power to others, including tenants.

Statute 366.02 states that most anyone who sells power in Florida is considered a “public utility” and subject to the same rules as major, multibillion-dollar energy conglomerates.

The bill would exempt “a property owner who owns and operates a renewable energy source device…with a capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts on his or her property and who produces and provides or sells renewable energy from that device to users located on the property” from the state’s public utility laws.

Rodriguez is persistent—he filed similar bills in 2017 and 2018 where the bills died in committee. Why? Look no further than Tampa Electric, Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light which see increased home-solar adoption as a threat to their bottom line. And these monopolies have increased the number of solar-energy farms they plan to build in coming years, Yet, the amount of solar power these companies plan to generate remains far lower than the power produced by carbon-emitting natural gas.